Grouping preferences/Administration items?

Milan nalimilan at
Mon Oct 29 10:04:19 UTC 2007

Matthew Paul Thomas a écrit :
> On Oct 28, 2007, at 12:19 PM, Evan Huus wrote:
>> I definitely agree that the non-techie will not understand the
>> difference between Prefs and Admin. Perhaps renaming "Preferences" to
>> *username* and "Administration" to "All Users"? Something like that
>> would be clearer, although then we might want to also rename "System"
>> to "Preferences"?
>> ...
> That probably wouldn't solve the problem. For example, almost everyone
> who uses a laptop is the only user of their computer, so the
> distinction between themself and "All Users" would be zero.
I agree this is not clear to all users and not always very accurate. But
there are two ideas behind each menu: Preferences, Desktop and Look &
Feel Setttings; Administration, hard system config. This is far from
perfect, but I can't find a better classification in the menu form (at
the moment).

What I would suggest is using GNOME Control Panel: it is the only
presentation that could be usable by newbies. Advanced users understand
the distinction Administration/Preferences (when it is cleary respected)
and will prefer to keep the menus (quicker to use). Maybe GNOME Control
Panel could be added in System just after Preferences and Administration.

> A longer-term fix would be to use PolicyKit to make everything not
> require a password unless/until you're actually making an
> administrative change. Not only would this collapse the distinction
> between Preferences and Administration, it would also allow more
> merging of related items. (For example, gnome-about-me could be merged
> with Users & Groups.)
You're right. In this long-term scenario, the distinction could/will
become pointless and problematic. Until then, we would better keep the
current system, but carefully looking out for new tools coming up that
would destroy its coherence. Then, maybe a single menu
("Configuration"?) could be sufficient, together with GNOME Control
Panel for those who prefer it. This is largely up to GNOME developers, I

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